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Jim Henson's "The Witches" needs an OAR upgrade fast!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Paul Hillenbrand, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    High Definition discs are just around the corner, but before that corner is reached, and for me, only after one format wins, I would like to see an Original Aspect Ratio trend for all of Jim Henson's films.

    "The Witches", in particular, needs its theatrical OAR for viewer involvement and IMHO, a necessary requirement for making the stories emotional punch.

    The existing pan & scan disc's visual energy, stunts the feeling of fantasy and its great potential for seasonal splendor.

    Paul
     
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    While I agree with the suggestion, I believe that the film as presented is 100% open matte, so if you have a 16:9 TV or projector with a zoom mode, you can get pretty close to the theatrical framing until something better comes along.

    Also, while the film was produced by Jim Henson productions and the special effects were well-executed by Jim Henson's creature shop, I would hesitate to call this "Jim Henson's 'The Witches'". It is very much a Nicolas Roeg adaptation of Roald Dahl.

    Regards,
     
  3. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I absolutely adore this film, but I've held off buying the DVD because I read it was P&S. I would be delighted to find out that it was instead an Open Matte. Can anyone say for sure?

    BTW, Warner said in one of the last two HTF chats with them that they had no plans for revisiting this title.

    And I also did a double-take when it was described in the thread title as Jim Henson's The Witches ...
     
  4. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I'm with you Paul!
     
  5. Tyler Ruggeri

    Tyler Ruggeri Stunt Coordinator

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    It should be brought up at the Warner chat next week. I would love to see this out in OAR and would pick it up in a second.

    Tyler Ruggeri
     
  6. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    Likewise. An updated OAR version of The Witches, along with cross-promoting Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, when the Tim Burton reimagining of the story comes along would be nice.
     
  7. Drew Reiber

    Drew Reiber Supporting Actor

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    I would really love to have The Witches and Matilda OAR. Maybe if Wonka isn't enough, Cleese's The Twits and Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox will help? Eh, who am I kidding. It's never going to happen.
     
  8. Nathan Phillips

    Nathan Phillips Stunt Coordinator

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    Does the R1 DVD have the original ending or the stupid one?
     
  9. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    So the DVD is NOT pand and scan, but rather "open matte" presentation, so I am getting more picture info, correct?
     
  10. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The DVD, as far as I could tell, is open matte all the way through. Since the Jim Henson Creature shop effects were done pretty much exclusively as in camera practical effects, there did not appear to be any scenes where they had optical effects that they had to pan and scan.

    Regards,
     
  11. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    DVD Answers is reporting that Warner will release Nic Roeg's The Witches in the UK (R2 PAL) market on October 17th, apparently as a tie-in with the DVD release of Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (both films are based on Roald Dahl books). It will also be available in a box set (The Dahl Collection---clever title) with Charlie and the 1989 British TV movie, Danny, the Champion of the World (with Jeremy Irons and Robbie Coltrane), which hasn't appeared on DVD previously.

    Specs haven't been announced for the UK disc of The Witches, but the question in my mind is whether Warner has finally done a new anamorphic widescreen transfer that this excellent film deserves. Warner said in a chat several years ago that they weren't planning to revisit the R1 full frame (Pan&Scan vs Open Matte) snapper release, and it still appears to be in print. Still, the success of Burton's movie may have convinced them otherwise.

    I have my fingers crossed both for a new anamorphic transfer and a proper R1 re-release. I guess we'll find out once the R1 release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is announced.
     

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